Doyle ended up writing four novels and 56 short stories featuring Holmes and his companion, Dr. Watson. All but four are told in the first person by Watson, two by Holmes, and two are written in the third person. Together, this series of beautifully written Victorian literature has sold more copies than any other books in the English language, with the exceptions of the Bible and Shakespeare.
Volume 1 in this series consists of two novels, A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four, followed by a collection of short stories entitled The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
(P)2009 Audio Connoisseur
I read a few Sherlock Holmes stories many years ago but had no idea that so many were written by Conan Doyle. The stories are of a length that is easy to digest and the excellent narration by Charlton Griffin (tops in my book, up there with Frank Muller and Simon Vance) brings the stories to life with his various character impersonations. I probably like Griffin's narration with a woman's voice the best of any narrator. The women often sound somewhat fickle, but for the late 1800s this wouldn't be too out of step with the times.
The length of each story is such that it can be "read" at a good pace leading to excitement to hear the next story. The voice characterization for Holmes is spot on. Having seen the older movies that featured Basil Rathbone as Holmes, I found myself picturing him as the Holmes character thanks to Griffin's narration.
You will find humor in these stories as well, especially when Holmes must tolerate the incompetence of others around him. At such a cheap price with good audio quality, a top-shelf narration by Griffin, and intriguing stories, this is a must-buy.
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I agree with the person who said that this book needs to do a better job at the chapter breaks and to include a table of contents. Navigating is not easy when all you get on the iPod screen is chapter 1, chapter 2 --and then those divisions don't have anything to do with where the stories stop and start.
Okay, but that is a technical problem and it doesn't take away from this return to the junior high classroom. Did they really let us read about this opium addict in junior high?? Funny, I don't remember such a detailed description of the addiction, while I do remember that the speckled hat band was a snake and a beryl is a gemstone. Hmm, maybe our school used an expurgated edition.
Good job on the narration, although there are some glitches in the recording.
The audiobook version of this collection is no better or worse than the print version, but it is a nice change from reading, especially when time is precious. I have a hard time sitting and doing just one thing, like reading, since I always want to do other things at the same time I am being "entertained." I did that a lot with this one, including having a night time story read to me at bedtime!
Volume 2, of course, and any other collections of Conan Doyle.
His narrative and voices are perfectly in line with what you would expect!
Hard to say, but probably Holmes . .
Any Conan Doyle books are winners. Well worth my time and energy.
I just achieved App Master!! I never thought I would make it this far!! Thanks Audible
Old school Holmes at its best!! Some of the stories are better than the others you just have to keep listening!! But overall great short stories that you never see coming try to figure them out!! You will enjoy it!!!!
There are so many titles in the Sherlock Holmes series, and I have been in a real quandary about where to start! I knew I would eventually get every title, and what a huge amount of credits that would be; a strain even on the Platinum plan! And how do you pick a favorite title to begin with when every story is so clever?
Needless to say I was THRILLED to see the first volume in a series of three anthologies; for three credits I will be able to get every title. "The Complete Stories" in the title makes me so happy; there are no compromises to be made here. What joy!
The narrator was excellent; while I did not care for his female voices, there are not that many times when women are actually speaking in a Sherlock Holmes story. His male voices are excellent; it was always easy to distinguish between Watson and Holmes. Sherlock's voice had that edgy quality that reminded me of the best Sherlock actor from the old black and white movies (Basil Rathbone?).
I know I will listen to these stories again and again! I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Volume 1 and am eagerly awaiting Volumes 2 and 3. Just think - three titles and I'll have them ALL (insert gleeful chuckle). :-)
As any true mystery fan knows the two giants of the genre are Poe and Doyle. These two great masters of literature wrote the book on great mystery fiction and great detectives. This is of course Sir Doyle's masterpiece and so the book itself needs no introduction or review from the likes of me. Because of this I choose instead to focus on the reading of this masterpiece. Since this is really a narration by one of the characters, the desired reader must be capable of selling himself as Dr. Watson. Charlton Griffin does this with a flair for the dramatic that makes you truly feel as if Dr. Watson himself is reading you his notes on some of the most famous cases in history. There were moments when I could envision Watson sitting next to the fireplace at Baker St. and reading to visitors intent on seeing the famous address and learning about the most famous duo in crime fighting. Because of this it is no surprise than Charlton Griffin reads some of the most recognized works in classic literature. He is a true master of his craft.
I downloaded these because I was bored and in desperate need of something to fill the silence, but all the while harbouring the honest feeling that Sherlock Holmes was a little culty and geeky and I'd never really get into it. So wrong.
What a joy this series was. Engrossing, exciting, perplexing, funny, and, in the later years, even a little racy! I truly felt drawn into the world of the 19th century and actually feel like I learned more than I ever expected to about an era gone by.
The performance is phenomenal; Griffin can fulfill any accent, any character.
Holmes has enjoyed a real spike of popularity in the past decade and I often overhear debates over the "best Sherlock ever." I can honestly now say that the best Sherlock ever, WAS Sherlock, no updating or sexifying required. There's a reason these books are still favorites.
I never thought that I would be that into Sherlock Holmes. I purchased this mainly because I've decided to become better acquainted with classics that have shaped the literary landscape. I had never found a mystery novel that I had much use for and really without the urging of a friend to at least try Sherlock Holmes I probably wouldn't have.
I was blown away by how much I enjoyed this first part. Amazing book with some brilliant quotes. Very very pleasantly surprised.
I took one star off the performance because the narrator has pretty much one female voice which caused me to have to go back and re-listen to figure out who was speaking. Holmes and Watson are incredibly well voiced.
A book lover with varied interests: history, political and technical and economic thrillers, mysteries, crime dramas, futuristic fantasy.
I was enchanted by Charlton Griffin's portrayal of Sherlock Holmes. His reading transported me into the Holmes' persona and gave me the opportunity to fully experience the famed Sherlock Holmes mysteries I relished the depiction of Holmes as a cocaine smoking, bi-polar eccentric who traded indolence for full speed ahead involvement in some of the most intriguiging stories ever told. The stories also provided a look into the society of A. Conan Doyle.
Mr Griffin reads with energy and gives each character a very distinct accent. Mostly this works well, though some of his pronuciation sounds a little strange to a British ear. The hero's name comes out as "Horms" much of the time, and some place names like "Wool-witch" give away that the excellent British accent hides a non-native English speaker :-). That said, this is one of the best Holmes readings available.
"Great material, but..."
I don't want to overstate my problem with this, because not everybody will be so fussy - but I cannot *stand* the choice of an American narrator.
It's not that the guy reading it is 'bad at his job'. Not at all. If I were to find him the narrator of an American novel, I expect he might be excellent. But because he's not British, a). his accents are slightly off, and b). he mispronounces certain words in a way that really, really jars.
For instance; "lab-ra-tory". I'm sorry, but a physician in Victorian England would have pronounced it, "lab-ora-tory". "Enth-oo-siasm" should be sounded, "enth-yoo-siasm". And when the narrator attempts to 'gentrify' certain words, he changes the vowels inappropriately - yes, "bath" becomes "barth", but "fancy" does not become "farncy". That's all within the first three minutes.
If you're as finickity as I am, it's intolerable. I couldn't get past the first quarter of an hour. All that said, the stories are great so, if you're not fussed by such things, feel free to ignore me. I'm stunned, though, that nobody has reported this already...
"The Wrong Reader"
The actor is seriously miscast. He not only cannot sustain an English accent but pronounces words in ways that do not exist in any spoken version of English that I know of. The most prominent and annoying of these is that he pronounces the 'l' in Holmes (and in 'folk'). Deeply disappointing, as I bought all the volumes of the short stories.
"Great but with definate cringe moments."
Oh thank you, thank you to the other reviewers. I thought it was just me! There has to be a problem when the sounding of those missplaced 'l's in Holmes actually make me flinch. I love these stories and the narrator made a good effort but why? Don't tell me there wasn't a single actual english actor to read these oh so english books! Hovering undecided over the buy button for volume two.
"Good stories but I did not like the narrator"
I found the narrator's different accents irritating. When listening to stories I go off into my own little bubble of imagination, picturing the characters, but this narrator's accents would pop that bubble.
"Excellent stories, dreadful narrator"
Wonderful to get back to the originals after the various films, tv series and books and compare the character of Conan Doyle's Holmes and Watson with the numerous alternatives offered today. I bought all three but am deeply frustrated at the choice of narrator. I gave up on the attempt to list the numerous everyday words which jarred, but above all he pronounces the central character 'Hawlms' instead of 'Homes' which grates on the ears over and over and over.
It's too late for me, and I will listen to them all (gritting my teeth) but please, Audible, consider redoing them?
I found the accent of the narrator irritating, but I never thought he was American. I thought he was doing Historically Informed Performance with authentic late Victorian vowels: Dorg for dog, orficer for officer and meek for make. That was irritating, although probably no more corny than the stories themselves. But doing women and children in falsetto is really off putting. The cockney accents are overdone.
But no worse than Dick Van Dyke's valiant and famous attempts at cockney in Mary Poppins.
The two novels (Study in Scarlet and Sign of Four) are not a patch on the short stories once Doyle had got into his stride.
"Fabulous stories hidden behind an AWFUL accent!"
It is soooo easy to make this a success- the stories are well established and successful, but the choice of narrator is atrocious. Think American trying to do an Anglo/Indian accent with a heavy cockney leaning plus a smattering of 1930's BBC announcer. It would be better if he had stuck to his US accent instead of making too cringing to listen. Has made me want to look in to refunds/returns to Audible for the first time in three years' membership.
"Beautiful literature, spoilt only by the narrator"
I adore these stories, so wonderfully written. I would recommend these books to anyone. The English language at it's literary best. However, this book misses a 5 star rating based purely on the narrator. Conan-Doyle's Holmes demands a native English speaker. Whilst this is one of the better English accents I've heard from an American, there is some laughable pronunciation 'orff' (off) and 'lorng' (long) 'parssenger' etc etc.
But, all in all the writing is strong enough to withstand this onslaught. It greatly depends on how particular you are about these things... If you want these stories in all their glory, then the only narrator is Derek Jacobi.
Lots of other reviews mention the annoying habit of the narrator mispronouncing some of the quintessentially English words. I thought I would find this equally annoying. However, I was able to get past this and lose myself in the plots and dialogue between Holmes and Watson. The recording is some 20 hours long and once I was into the collection, the mispronunciations faded into inconsequence. Great value for money for your "credit" too. However, with so many marvellous British voices to choose from, the question is why did they choose an American? That being said, for Holmes fans who can listen to the book whilst picturing Basil Rathbone in his distinctive coat and deerstalker, you won't be disappointed.
"A good book a good narration"
The Complete Stories of Sherlock Holmes is a very good book and this narration is as well as the it was expexted, very close to the book so is very easy to follow the book while listening, making this audiobook a very good option for those who are learning English and need to practice but also for those who enjoy hearing well-tell stories.
The only but is that sometimes the speed of the narration is a little bit fast.
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